RESULTS FOR COMPETITION 2016 on the theme of TRAINS and/or POISON
Many Congratulations to our prizewinner. Our competition is judged anonymously and all three judges agreed that the prize should go to the two pieces below, both by Pamela Trudie Hodge. Thank you to everyone who entered. Sorry you didn't win this time, but we really enjoyed reading your work. Hope you'll try again next year.
FIRST PRIZE - STORY
THE LAST TRAIN by Pamela Trudie Hodge
'Hangover, Jerry?" He scowled at his wife. Why did she always use the diminutive with its connotations of chamber pots? He wanted to say, 'Sir Jeremy as of yesterday' but his brain was full of cotton wool. Why was she here, anyway? Wasn't she...? God, his head hurt. How many celebratory bottles last night? Dimly, he recalled a sensation of falling. He'd walk to the station today. He was in no state to drive, especially in this damned fog. He stumbled onto the platform where the train waited. In his empty carriage, he leaned back and smiled. 'Sir Jeremy.' He liked the sound of that and all because he'd created an undetectable poison. Through the fog in his mind he recalled the ultimate test, saw himself sprinkle powder on his wife's favourite pudding. Everyone must make sacrifices to the Gods of Science. MI5 was onto his research in a flash. Better than polonium by far. The train stopped. Wenford? He couldn't see for this damned fog. Vague shadows loomed on the platform and then his door snapped open and his wife stepped in. Shock slammed into him as she tapped his knee and smiled. "I can't come all the way, Jerry," she said, "but I wanted to make sure you got there." The train began to pick up speed, hurtling faster and faster down a sharp decline - except there were no hills here in the Fenlands. Beyond the train windows, the fog was turning an eerie red.
FIRST PRIZE - POEM
DEAR SIR OR MADAM by Pamela Trudie Hodge
Head bowed, she kneels in reverential prayer. Sun, through stained glass saints lights her grey hair in punk shades of red, green, a halo of gold. She loves her God, sees how the villagers flout His teaching.
In her cottage on the Green she watches from behind lace curtains the secret touch of hands, whispered endearments, illicit meetings casually arranged in nod and wink.
Sunday roast eaten, plate and glass washed, stacked tidily, she looks forward to her task. She enjoys writing letters to the local paper, the Council, the Bishop but on Sundays
her letters are more personal. She recalls a walk in Lippen Copse last week, a flash of black lace, the creamy satin of flesh. She licks her wrinkled lips, eyes shining,
arranges a cloth on her dining table, sets out cheap paper, brown envelopes, offers a silent prayer to her God for His blessing. Her cramped script is neat, virtuously upright as she lifts her pen and lets the poison flow.